NYFA Broadcast Journalism School Update Nov. 6


Last week, the biggest American story was right here in New York City. It was an act of terrorism, and it drew global attention. NYFA Broadcast Journalism graduate George Colli was on-the-scene the following morning, along with Keith Porter, the chief camera operator of WTNH TV. They were here not just to report for their own station in Connecticut, but for the 170 other TV stations owned by the Nexstar Media Group. That’s a lot of TV stations…

It was an opportunity to remember the important role that journalists play in society, and our responsibility to provide accurate and timely information, not hyperbole and speculation.
There is a saying among journalists: “The first report is always wrong.” That means initial information on a developing story is almost always fragmentary and imprecise. CNN Money pointed out on its Reliable Sources site how that rule applied last week.

Journalists scramble to cover terror attack right in their backyard

The initial reports of an “active shooter” in lower Manhattan were wrong. So were the reports a few minutes later of a “road rage” incident. But unfortunately the reports of multiple fatalities were right. The 3 p.m. hour was consumed by confusing reports of injures along the West Side Highway in NYC. During the 4 p.m. hour, it became clear that the injuries were from a truck attack — and that
it was being investigated as terrorism. In the 5 p.m. hour, officials said eight people were dead in an “act of terror.”
Many people were looking to digital sites for information. One prime example is Snap Maps, which provided a graphic depiction of “what” was being reported by users “where,” along with user-generated footage. It captured both the potential, and pitfalls, of crowd-based news gathering. The site pretty well guarantees that images are being posted by real people, but those real people can say some really questionable things. That’s why, in an era of instant-everything, journalists continue to play a critical role.
The Pew  Research Center is a wonderful source of nonpartisan, data-driven information on a wide range of subjects. One of their areas on emphasis is journalism, and their latest effort looks at how increasingly people who get their news via social media are turning to multiple platforms for information. Traditionally, I’d look at the NBC News site, CNN, MSNBC and Fox to see how a story is being covered … or,sometimes, if it is being covered at all. Now I have to include Facebook and Instagram too.
Circling back to CNN, correspondent Brooke Baldwin did a fascinating behind-the-scenes story about her recent visit to the Republic of Korea (aka “South Korea”). Her description of landing on an American aircraft carrier is vivid, as are her portraits of Americans she met there, all living under the very real threat of a nuclear attack. Her story went beyond the usual soundbites and “talking points.” The online headline, however, doesn’t do it justice…
Finally, you all know how I love to hear from our graduates. Here is a note I got last week from recent grad Luis Cacio:
I’m glad to tell you guys that I get my first job with a Brazilian Soccer team, who has an affiliation in Orlando, Florida. It’s my first filming, editing and animation with Sports, what I wanted when I applied for NYFA!  I’m really happy and grateful for the learning that I got with the Program! 
Thank you so much! 
You’re welcome, Luis…